A free comprehensive guide for evaluating site structures
"O ye'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye." - The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond
User research requires – you guessed it – users.
Whether we’re running an online study or an in-person one, we will need to get a certain number of representative users to volunteer their time to do our tree test.
In some cases, recruiting is easy. We put a study invitation on our high-traffic website, some fraction of visitors click it and do the test, and we're done.
In many cases, however, our job is more difficult. Perhaps we're looking for a certain subset of users. Perhaps we don’t have an existing website to draw traffic. Perhaps our audience is small enough that it’s hard to get enough users to volunteer.
In this chapter, we discuss how to decide which (and how many) participants we need, how to get their attention, and how to persuade them to do our study.
~50 per user group, depending on the # of questions per participant
Recruiting for separate tests vs. a single "everyone" test
Choosing sites/pages/position, creating the ad, and explanation pages
Inviting in batches, filtering lists, opting out, etc.
Who to target, what to say
How panels work, quality of participants, and caveats
Similar to commercial panels, but easier to use
Mechanical Turk, trade groups/forums, friends & family, etc.
What it is, what causes it, and how to reduce it
Recruiting different types of users using different media
Filtering databases, using targeted email lists, and asking explicit questions
Sending the invitation separately from the password
4 tips and a template
Usually necessary, and usually a prize draw
Getting the right participant in the right room at the right time